Melissa Morrison made the trip from California to New York City after graduating with Honors from UC Santa Barbara in June of 2012 with BAs in Dance and Communication. Having grown up a ballerina, training at Hawkins School of Performing Arts, she became interested in the modern dance world during her time at UCSB under the direction of Christopher Pilafian. Melissa has performed works by Nancy Colahan, Valerie Huston, Jose Limon and Austin McCormick of Company XIV and danced as a guest with the Sacramento Ballet during her student years. During her fourth year, she collaborated on a grant-funded, site-specific dance work. She co-choreographed the piece and was heavily involved in the funding, promotion, musical composition and production. Through this piece, Melissa’s artistic aesthetic grew. She was a recipient of the Rona Sande Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Department of Theater and Dance in 2011 and 2012, Dance Education Laboratory Scholarship at the Harkness Dance Center of 92 Street Y in 2012 and UCSB College of Letters and Science University Award of Distinction in 2012. This past 2013 season she danced as an apprentice for Lydia Johnson Dance in NYC. Melissa began her teaching career in 2006, teaching a range of ballet, stretch-conditioning, lyrical, jazz and modern technique. She plans to further her education in the future and obtain her Masters in Dance.